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Is it Okay to Serve Communion outside of a Church Service?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
May 7, 2024 5:00 pm

Is it Okay to Serve Communion outside of a Church Service?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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May 7, 2024 5:00 pm

Episode 1483 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

  1. Why did Jesus teach His disciples to pray to the Father, not the Trinity? 2. How does suffering make Christians more like Jesus? 3. Is it ever okay to serve Communion outside of a church service? 4. How can I know if I truly believe in Jesus?     Today’s Offer: 5 Names of God You Should Know   Want to partner with us in our work here at Core Christianity? Consider becoming a member of the Inner Core.   View our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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Is it okay to serve communion outside of a church service? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Hi, it's Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question at 833-THE-CORE.

843-2673. You can also email us anytime at questionsatcorechristianity.com. Now, Adriel just wrote a new book on the Lord's Prayer. We've been talking about that for the past couple of weeks.

And Adriel, we have an email that kind of ties in actually very closely with your book, and let me read it to you. One of our listeners says, Yeah, so great question. Ordinarily, we do pray to the Father through Jesus the Son. This is why we pray in Jesus' name. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, we're praying in the Spirit as the people of God. But yes, ordinarily, prayer is directed to the Father.

We're coming before the throne of grace, as I said, through Jesus, our great high priest. But there's nothing wrong with praying to the Son or even to the Holy Spirit. We're talking about one God here, the same in substance, equal in power and glory, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But I appreciate your question, you know, thinking about the Lord's Prayer in particular.

And one of the things that I highlighted in my book, and I think that this is one of the beautiful things about the Lord's Prayer, is even the words our Father presuppose the work of the Holy Trinity. And so, you know, when we call upon God as Father, what we're doing is we're saying, I've been adopted into the family. I can call upon God as Father, as our Father. And of course, you know, we would say as Christians that not every person who's ever born has that privilege of calling upon God as Father in the personal sense, in the sense of having been adopted by the Lord.

And that's because that only happens. It happens through Christ. Jesus, who is the eternal Son of God by nature, has made us, the sons and daughters of God, by grace. And so every time we say our Father, we're reminded of that truth. And so we're brought face to face with the reality of the persons of the Holy Trinity.

We can call upon God as Father through Jesus, the Son. And how do we experience that? We experience that by the work of the Holy Spirit. It's the Spirit of God who applies the work of Christ to us.

Adoption as sons and daughters into the family of God, central to that, that is the work of the Holy Spirit. And so anytime you say our Father, anytime you pray the Lord's Prayer, you're reminded of the Holy Trinity and of the work of the Holy Trinity and enabled, I think, then to call upon God with more confidence, with more boldness, knowing that God is indeed your Father and that he's gone to great lengths to make you his son or daughter. Thank you for that, Adriel.

Once again, we want to tell you about Adriel's new book. And let me just, let's just chat about that for a second, because I think it's such an important book. So many people, I know many of our listeners struggle with having a consistent prayer life and really understanding the correct basis of prayer biblically.

That's right. And you said it, Bill, many of us do struggle with having that consistency in prayer. And so, you know, one of the reasons I wrote the book was to maybe provide some encouragement, some resources, some insight into how to cultivate a consistent prayer life. Certainly, it's one of the things we see Jesus set the example in. And it's one of the reasons why I think his disciples said to him, Lord, teach us how to pray in Luke's Gospel, because they saw him going and praying, getting away to pray, making time to pray. And then, you know, for many of us, prayer can feel like such a chore, but I try to highlight the fact that this is a gift that God has given to us through his son Jesus, but also something that we're called to cultivate and, you know, have a discipline in. So not thinking of it as a chore, but realizing that it is going to take some effort, some work on our part, if we're going to cultivate the kind of prayer life that I think God calls us to.

So well said. You can find Adriel's book by going to corechristianity.com. Our phone lines are open. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, maybe doctrine or theology, here's our phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Larry calling in from Oregon. Larry, what's your question for Adriel? Yeah, thanks, Bill.

Hi, Adriel. So often when I pray, I pray that God makes me more like Jesus. And when I pray that prayer, I often am thinking that I want to be like him as far as less sinful, but I know also that we have to pick up our cross and follow him and we suffer as Christians. So lately, I guess I've found that that also is being like Jesus, how we have to suffer. For me, I have bipolar disorder and it's made a resurgence. I was off meds for a while and doing well.

And this week I started medication again with the help of a psychiatrist. And so I want you to touch on that and how suffering could also be, in a way, a gift that humbles us as Christians when we receive so much wisdom from God, but yet we still have these ailments that we suffer through as a part of being a Christian. Thank you. Larry, thank you for that question. Let's take a moment to pray for our brother Larry right now, that the Lord would strengthen him in the midst of this trial that he's experiencing and provide for all of his needs. Our Father in heaven, we do lift Larry up to you. God, thank you for the wisdom and the insight that you've given to him, even in understanding, Lord, that through trials and tribulations, you are able to shape us and mold us more into the image of your son. And I pray that in this great difficulty, Lord God, that you would be working that in our brother, drawing him closer to you and strengthening his faith and, Lord, providing for all of his needs as he gets the help and the care that he needs. Lord, I ask that you would strengthen him and be with him in Jesus' name.

Amen. In terms of what we should be praying for as Christians, I think saying, Lord, make me more like Jesus is right there at the top of the list. But recognizing also that God oftentimes does use suffering, can use suffering, in order to accomplish that purpose. One, I just think it's important for us to recognize that because if we don't, then it can feel like in our suffering there's just no point.

And that's when we're led to despair, when it just feels like there's really no reason for any of this. And certainly in the middle of suffering, sometimes it can feel that way. But one thing that is clear throughout Scripture is how God uses difficulty and tribulation and even sickness for his own glory and to mold us and to shape us.

And as you were talking, there are a number of texts that were coming to mind for me. I think of James 1. Here talking about a particular kind of tribulation, in verse 9, he says, Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with his scorching heat and withers the grass, its flower falls and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.

There the trial seems like loss of financial gain. You've become poverty-stricken. But James says, well, you're reminded of the fact that life is fleeting. That just like the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass, its flower falls. That's often how wisdom pictures the human life.

And it's the same with regard to something like sickness, I think. We're reminded of our own weakness, our own mortality, our creatureliness, and how much we depend upon the Lord. And it's through those trials, again, that God is able to work in us, accomplishing his purposes. Another passage that I was thinking about is in the book of Romans, in Romans 5, verses 3 and following. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, Paul said, knowing that our suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. The famous Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, was once speaking to a group of his students, other ministers and people training for the pastorate. And he said, you know, I dare say that the greatest earthly blessing that God can give to any man is health, with the exception of sickness, he added.

Spurgeon kind of had a way with words. But his point was, you know, God has often used these trials in my life, and he suffered immensely from things like depression, from, I think, kidney disease, from gout, all sorts of things. Just really, I mean, his wife also suffered immensely, and yet he saw in his pain and in his suffering the hand of the Lord at work, molding him, shaping him, strengthening him in his faith. And I hope, Larry, that that's what you experience as well, as you continue to offer yourself up to the Lord, even in your weakness, even in your battles with bipolar disorder, recognizing what Paul told the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 4, verse 16.

We do not lose heart, though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day, for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. Brothers and sisters, in the midst of our suffering, we need to understand, we need to recognize that God is sovereign and he's able to work, and he is at work, and that he's molding us and shaping us so that we don't grow despairing. And so wherever you are right now, whatever trial or tribulation you're going through, offer yourself up to the Lord and say, God, help me not to despair and help me not to feel hopeless, but help me to place my hope in you and to see you at work in my life, even through this difficulty.

And may God grant us the faith to believe that and to persevere, to be steadfast in the midst of those trials. God be with you, Larry, and God bless you, brother. Larry, thanks so much for your call. We'll be praying for you and your situation, and we appreciate your attitude so much.

So, wonderful to hear you calling in today. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adrian Sanchez. We have a brand new core resource on our website we'd like to tell you about. It's called The Five Names of God You Should Know. Yeah, the resource is an introduction to the ways in which God has revealed Himself to us in His Word, how God has identified Himself as the great Helper of His people, our Father, the God who is with us. And so, you know, it's important for us to understand God, not as we imagine Him to be or invent Him to be in our minds, but as He's revealed Himself to us in and through the Holy Scriptures, if we're going to have a personal relationship with Him. And so, I do hope that this resource encourages you and strengthens that personal relationship that you have with the Lord. Again, it's called Five Names of God You Should Know. By the way, you can get that for free.

It's a download. You can find that by going to corechristianity.com forward slash offers. Again, that's corechristianity.com forward slash offers. We have a lot of other great core guides and core questions available at our website. We'd encourage you to browse around.

Check that out again at corechristianity.com. Well, we do receive voicemails here at the core, and here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Justin. Email, Bill. It's an email. Oh, it's an email. My mistake. No problem.

It is an email from Justin, and here's what he says. Should communion be offered at services held at nursing homes or taken to individual shut-ins so they can participate even though they can't be part of the church assembly? Or should communion be celebrated in the church only? Great question.

Yeah, excellent question. You know, there is a long history of, from really early days, deacons taking the elements of the Lord's Supper to those who were shut in. You see this at some points in the ancient church. I really do think we need to emphasize the fact that the Lord's Supper is the meal of the church's unity, the church's oneness. You see this in 1 Corinthians 10 and 11, and so it really ought not to be done in isolation, on our own, in my living room. If there's an actual worship service or a church service is taking place at a nursing home, I think, great, that's wonderful. But the Lord's Supper is the culmination of our worship, of our covenant renewal.

That's one way of putting it. And so it ought not to be done severed from the proclamation of God's Word. It's the Word of the Gospel that the Lord's Supper signs and seals to us as the church.

And so this is important. In the history of the church, there have been all sorts of abuses throughout the years with regard to the Lord's Supper. At one point, more and more as it was seen as this sacrifice of propitiation, it was being done in isolation away from the church, to the point that most of the time that it was administered at certain points in church history, it wasn't administered with the body of Christ, but in isolation with the priest just sort of offering it as a sacrifice on his own or with a small group. And so one of the problems throughout history with regard to the Lord's Supper, one of the abuses, has been to separate it from the community of faith.

But again, if this is the ordinance or the sacrament of our oneness as the body of Christ, our being brought together as the people of God, actualized in one sense as the family of God, as one holy Catholic and apostolic church, then it ought to be done, administered in the context of a worship service. And again, I would point to those chapters in 1 Corinthians to emphasize that point in particular. Appreciate the question.

Great explanation. Thank you for that, Adriel. You're listening to CORE Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Our phone lines are open if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life. You can call us right now at 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673.

You can also leave a voicemail at that number anytime. Let's go to Nick calling in from Kansas. Nick, what's your question for Adriel?

Hey, what's going on, guys? My question is, well, look, I'm on my starting journey. I wouldn't consider myself a Christian, I guess, but I've been seeking knowledge and trying to accept more God into my life. Question I got is, at what point in time did you know God was real, I guess?

So, for instance, one plus one is two, the sky is blue, God is real. When did you feel that in your heart? That's exactly where I'm at in my journey.

Okay. Nick, God bless you in that journey. Now, in one sense, what I would want to say to you is everyone has a kind of understanding, a kind of sense of God, even, I think, from birth. This is through God's natural revelation. You just look around at the universe and you look up at the stars at night and you kind of feel like, man, I know there's something greater out there.

And the Bible talks about that. The psalmist in the Old Testament said that the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies above show his handiwork. So, speaking for myself, even before I would have called myself a Christian or a devoted follower of Jesus, I had this sense of God.

Now, I didn't understand exactly where that was coming from, but this sense of something greater out there. And it wasn't until I was confronted with the message of Jesus, the gospel of his grace, with the sense of my own sin and shortcomings that I began to have more clarity. Now, that doesn't mean that every Christian has this perfect belief or that we don't wrestle with doubts. And you may wrestle with doubts along the journey, even after you come to a point where you feel like, okay, I believe this. I believe in Jesus. But it's not the perfection of our faith or the strength of our faith that makes us Christians. It's the fact that even a little bit of faith is able to lay hold of Jesus and what he's done for us. And it seems to me, Nick, like God is at work in your life, and like you even have this sense of God. You're on this journey, the beginning of your journey.

Can I go back to you really quickly, Nick? What do you understand about Jesus and who he is? I understand that he died for our sins. I understand that you read the Bible and you open up your heart and let Jesus take the wheel, so to speak.

And that's really the most important thing I understand. Going to church or following him or listening to him, it's my own personal relationship with God is what I'm trying to further. I'm listening to a lot of radio talk and talking to other Christians. I got invited to this healing service.

I'll probably go to that. But yeah, just as far as I'm understanding, you genuinely open your heart up to Jesus Christ and truly believe he died for our sins. And do you believe those things, Nick? Do you realize that you— I want to so bad.

That's what I mean by, like, one plus one is two. Like, I'm ready. I'm totally ready. I just don't feel it in my heart, or I'm so— It's just, like, something's missing to where, like, yes, I'm on this journey. I'm, you know, I'm seeking knowledge. I'm just trying to feel it, the authenticity, if that makes sense. Well, look, let me say this to you. You don't have to feel—it's not like a magic feeling that comes. I mean, for some people, they do experience, you know, the feelings.

Let me just say this. You recognize that you need this. You realize, right, you have a sense of conviction. You know that you have sin. And you do understand—it sounds to me like you do understand the fundamentals in terms of what Christ came into the world to do.

He came into the world to free us of our sins, to die on the cross so that we might be forgiven. And if you're looking for a feeling, you know, some sort of, like, magic epiphany moment before you say, Jesus, I need you, you're going to be looking for a while, I think. I think you can come to Jesus right now, just as you are, and even without the feelings, and even with the questions, and say, Jesus, I want you. I need your grace.

I need your forgiveness. It's like what we read in the book of Acts in Acts chapter 4. There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

That's the name of Jesus. And so what I want to do right now, Nic, is just to pray with you. And I think if you can come to the Lord honestly—you don't have to have a feeling, don't look for a feeling—look to Jesus and to His Word and what He's done. And if you can come and say, God, I want—I know that I need this, I want that—you can only do that because the Spirit of God is already working in your life. And so, I mean, I'm going to be bold here, but can we pray together? Nic, would you be comfortable even praying and saying, Lord, Jesus, I do want this and I need this. Please shower me with your grace. Could you pray that?

Say it one more time. Well, Nic, how about this, Nic? I'll pray, and if you can pray with me—you can repeat the words—if you can pray with me, I want you to pray with me.

Because sometimes we need encouragement and people to take us by the hand before God's throne of grace, and ultimately that's what Jesus does for you. And so I want to pray for you, and if you want to pray, I'm just going to invite you to pray with me as well, even to repeat after me if you would. Is that all right, Nic?

Yeah, that's fine. Lord Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus Christ. I know that I need you desperately. I know that I need you desperately. I know that I've sinned against you, but that you're merciful. I know that I've sinned against you, but you are merciful. Lord, I want you and I want your grace in my life.

Lord, I want you and I want your grace in my life. I believe that you died for my sins. I believe you died for my sins. Forgive me and fill me with your Spirit. Forgive me and fill me with your Spirit. I confess that you, O Lord, are Lord. I confess that you, O Lord, are Lord. Take my life and lead me.

Take my life and lead me. In Jesus' name. In Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.

Amen. Nic, let me just say to you, brother, man, if you can say that, if you can say Jesus is Lord, Paul, the apostle, said no one can say that except for the work of the Holy Spirit in their life. My encouragement to you is dig into the Word and get plugged into a church. You need to be in a church where you can grow with other believers and stay on the line. We want to encourage you and give you some other resources and talk about what you can do to further that journey that you're in. God bless you, Nic. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-08 03:08:23 / 2024-05-08 03:17:48 / 9

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